Someone ought to make a television show about vampires. Hear me out: I mean for one, it’s never been done before. I know that sounds crazy, but surely audiences would respond, at least to the novelty aspect, you know? Thankfully, ONE person is ahead of the curve, and that man’s name is
Oprah Robert Rodriguez. His new television network El Rey has been in the works for a minute now, with its first original series being the new Western-Crime-Horror mash-up From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series. But is this addition to the supernatural television landscape worth checking out, or just another set of pointless fangs with no bite? Read on to find out!
From Dusk Till Dawn... wasn’t that a feature film from before Netflix times?
Yeah! The movie, which was written by Quentin Tarantino and directed by Rodriguez, came out in 1996; it later spawned two direct-to-DVD sequels, a video game, and some comics which further developed the world that was first established in the film. El Rey's take is sort of a rehashing of the original tale, using a ten-episode format to expand on the mythology and characters from the first go-round. So with From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series that means basically fleshing out the story of two bank-robbing brothers who kidnap a family while on the run to Mexico, and the Texas Ranger tasked with bringing them to justice. If you remember the movie, you already know that there’s also a strip club full of ne’er-do-wells, plus vampires with Mesoamerican roots. The pilot sets most of this into motion, minus the kidnapped family, by putting the criminal Gecko brothers in a liquor store standoff with two Texas Rangers. One brother has weird visions of an ancient snake-vampire-witch, and by the end of it all, you understand how this cat-and-mouse game between authorities and scofflaws is going to involve supernatural hurdles. SEXY, supernatural hurdles.
Who created the series, and who stars in it?
As mentioned above, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series is based on Rodriguez's 1996 film of the same name; Rodriguez himself has adapted the story for television with help from showrunner Carlos Coto (Nikita, 24). Since gore matters here, special effects makeup wizard Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead) is also along for the ride. Face-wise, there are actors new and old: Don Johnson (Eastbound and Down) and Jesse Garcia comprise the show's law enforcement contingent, as Texas Rangers Earl McGraw and Freddie Gonzalez, respectively. D.J. Cotrona (Detroit 1-8-7) plays bank robber Seth Gecko; Seth is the more level-headed brother of Zane Holtz's (Make It or Break It) nutcase Richie Gecko. Robert Patrick (True Blood) continues his grizzled streak as former pastor Jacob Fuller and father to Madison Davenport's (Save Me) Kate and Brandon Soo Hoo's (Supah Ninjas, Incredible Crew) Scott. Adrianne Palicki (Friday Night Lights) will take on a newly created role as a woman from Seth’s past and likely love interest for him. Filling out the criminal/eccentric/monster element are Wilmer Valderrama (That '70s Show, Awake) as a drug kingpin, Jake Busey (Good Vibes) as an expert on Mesoamerican mythology, and Eiza Gonzalez as vampire queen Santanico Pandemonium.
When will we see the dawn of From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series?
The show debuts on Tuesday, March 11 at 9pm on the brand-new El Rey network, which may or may not be part of your cable package. Outside the United States, episodes will be available exclusively on Netflix.
Who might like From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series?
Fans of cool monster gore, gratuitous action, and B-movie one-liners. The goal here is scary fun, taken just seriously enough to keep the parts moving. Overall, this world’s kind of like Burn Notice plus Supernatural mixed with a gritty Texan backdrop and the kind of Saturday-afternoon films that’d keep you entertained through a whole sixer of Tecate.
What kicks ass about From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series?
If you're familiar with the work of Rodriguez and his creative cohorts, then you know the dude’s not afraid to be cheesy, sexy, and melodramatic all at once. But he’s also not generic either, which is saying a lot these days. There’s an art to crafting good action, and From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series displays an appropriate level of care. Thankfully, the show's vampires are more monsters to fight than super-humans to love, and who doesn’t enjoy Aztec magic as a thing? Finally, the story is confined to only 10 installments, which keeps the pace up while giving individual characters a fair division of screen time and insuring multiple angles on the premise.
What sucks about From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series?
Look, nothing’s outright bad, but the show might test the nerves of viewers with a low tolerance for quips and heavy-handed banter. Occasionally the wordplay feels too singular coming out of different characters, like they’re all thinking from the same brain. Also, Seth (one of the brothers) still has that silly Caesar haircut from the '90s. But hey, this is pure genre fare here, and it honors the staples of action and horror.
So, should I watch it?
Yes! It’s cool, it looks good, and most importantly, it entertains.
Can I please see a trailer?
For sure bro here let me get that for you:
From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series debuts Tuesday, March 11 at 9pm on El Rey.